Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Byzantium and Steinbeck

Spent the weekend at the in-laws, and on the Saturday we went into London to the Byzantium exhibition at the Royal Academy. Not much to say here unless I embark on a massive gush about how ace it was. It's only on until the 22nd of March. The exhibits are on loan from Venice, Turkey, Sinai; it won't come again; go there. The catalogue is pretty spectacular too, although, as ever, photographs can't really do justice to some of the originals. Meanwhile Judith Herrin's recent popular history of Byzantium is engaging and pleasingly concise.

(The image above is an icon of St Michael, looted from Constantinople by the Venetians in 1204. It's basically a gold biscuit tin with ludicrously large fake gemstones (i.e. fabulously valuable real gemstones) studded all over it.)

And yesterday I got home to find that my brother had sent me a copy of Steinbeck's Travels with Charley. I'm very excited.


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